IBAHRI has sent a briefing note to UK parliamentarians on the Genocide Amendment to the Trade Bill
Click here to download the briefing note.tinyurl.com/y2g5nh9s
Ahead of the Tuesday 19 January 2021 vote on the Genocide Amendment to the Trade Bill, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) has sent a briefing note to United Kingdom Members of Parliament clarifying the legal issues.
The vote presents an opportunity for a historic stand against genocide.
Extracts from the briefing note:
The Genocide Amendment, if passed, would allow for bilateral trade agreements to be withdrawn by the United Kingdom if a preliminary determination by the UK High Court finds a State counterparty has committed or is committing genocide.
The Genocide Amendment is clearly right in principle. It allows the UK to give meaningful effect to the UK’s obligations under the Genocide Convention which include obligations to: prevent the commission of genocide, prohibit complicity in genocide, and to punish perpetrators of genocide. As a matter of international law, these obligations apply to all States. They have a common legal interest and shared responsibility in seeing them complied with and enforced.
In respect of complicity, there is an obligation on a State the moment it is aware (i.e., has full knowledge) that genocide will take place or is underway to suspend or terminate all assistance which may “enable or facilitate the commission of the crime.” Judicial determinations of the existence or the inevitability of a genocide, sought pursuant to the Genocide Amendment, would provide clarity as to whether or not a trading partner had committed genocide and, therefore, whether there was any risk of the UK being complicit in genocide through trading arrangements. Currently, the position of some States, including the UK, is that the determination of the existence of a genocide is a matter for judicial decision, rather than for governments or non-judicial bodies. As only governments are able to refer such matters for judicial decision (to the International Court of Justice, for instance, where possible) any question of complicity is precluded and, ultimately, can never be resolved unless a court has considered the matter. This position is unsatisfactory and perpetuates inaction.
Download the briefing note from this link:
1.The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), established in 1995 under Founding Honorary President Nelson Mandela, is an autonomous and financially independent entity, working to promote, protect and enforce human rights under a just rule of law, and to preserve the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession worldwide.
2.The International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession, is the foremost organisation for international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Established in 1947, shortly after the creation of the United Nations, it was born out of the conviction that an organisation made up of the world’s bar associations could contribute to global stability and peace through the administration of justice.